Blindspot: Scientists Hollow Fortune – Swimming the River Styx (Review)

After the previous week’s rooftop conversation Blindspot: Scientists Hollow Fortune takes things further with Jane agreeing to swap pens with Mayfair.

Blindspot - Season 1

After the previous week’s rooftop conversation Blindspot: Scientists Hollow Fortune takes things further with Jane agreeing to swap pens with Mayfair. Meanwhile an Airborne solder is found wandering outside a base. When he is finally brought in, he claims to have swum the River Styx and escaped from Hell.

After the FBI capture the man, but not before he shoots  five men down, they learn he is full of “zip” the same chemical compound used to erase Jane’s memory.  The soldier turns out to be one Sergeant Charlie Napier who was declared KIA after stepping on an IED.  The Sergeant’s name is also tattooed on Jane’s body.

The “dead” soldier has a lot of  other chemicals in his body as well as the zip.  As a result, according to Patterson,  the combination keeps the G.I. in a constant state of fight or flight. After reuniting Napier with his mother, the soldier remembers more things about his escape.  One of which is that he “saw the face of God” and that He told Charlie to escape.

Patterson reveals that Napier’s name is not the only one on Jane’s body. Four other soldiers names and ranks are tattooed on her body as well. All five soldiers have been declared dead, from an IED explosion. After the she shares the information Mayfair expresses concern at Patterson’s well being but the tech states that work is what she needs.

After Charlie’s emotional reunion with his mother  the Army CID swoops in and takes him away. Jane challenges the act and Mayfair orders her to stand down. Patterson finds a pattern in the names on Jane’s body. All were declared dead by the same private military contractor.

Weller’s team start tracking down information for locations where the contractors may own property and which one Napier escaped from. Meanwhile, Napier’s military CID  escort is attacked and his guards are all killed. Charlie is taken by the attackers.

Following the clues, Weller, Jane, Zapata and Reade find the building where Napier escaped. Before then, Charlie is brought to the facility and he is the only one of the five soldiers to survive the tests. A doctor, Lindsay Sparacino (Jenna Stern) welcomes Napier back as technicians busily destroy evidence. 

By the time that Weller and the other arrive, the other four soldiers are dead, Napier is missing and Patterson finds a partial video file. The doctor appears to be going rogue to sell the chemical compound that Napier is on to the highest bidder.

The team track Napier down to a self-storage facility. After an intense shoot out, they rescue the soldier who runs. Jane tries to bring him in but  the two fight. Napier overpowers her and as he begins choking her Weller appears and shoots the drugged up soldier dead.

Throughout this episode Jane has more flashbacks, one of which shows her enduring military training while a drill instructor bullies her to quit.  Weller finally faces his father issues and has an emotional reconciliation with the man accused of killing “Jane” all those years ago.

Blindspot - Season 1
Ashley Johnson as Patterson

Patterson, once again, proves herself to be a crucial member of Weller’s team and despite the stress of her boyfriends death and the investigation into her conduct, the woman rules supreme in the lab and out.

Ultimately Jane swaps the pen although it looks like she may have “faked it.”  She asks her contact to tell her what Orion is. Thus far, viewers know that the dead CIA man Carter called it an operation and that he was prepared to kill to keep it a secret. Mayfair also  knew of Orion and when pressed, Jane’s contact tells her it was where she died.

As ominous as this sounds, it could mean something similar to Charlie’s story. Napier was declared dead and this could be what is meant by Jane’s death. Preview show the inspector who wanted to suspend Patterson is back on the warpath and it appears that no one is safe.

Blindspot continues to challenge itself and ascend past the tattoos as it solves little bits of the puzzles on Jane’s body. At the same time the Taylor Shaw connection is still hovering in the background, Well’s storyline with his father for instance, and the question still remains as to just how much Jane was really responsible for her condition.

One wonders if Jane had to swim the River Styx to escape from her own Hell and if this was why she agreed to have her memories erased and the tattoos put on her body. Only time will tell as more flashbacks appear in each new episode.

Kudos to the director and stunt coordinator for making the running shoot-out in the storage facility so impressive. Tight, intense and brilliantly paced,  this was a highlight of the episode and one of the best firefights of the series.

Blindspot airs Tuesdays  on NBC and provides some pretty clever writing and intense acting. This is addictive viewing that should not be missed.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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